The Chicago Fire have completed the signing of goalkeeper Jeff Gal from Swedish top-flight side Degerfors IF on a free transfer.
Gal has penned a one-year deal through the 2023 MLS season with the club holding options on 2024 and 2025.
The move marks a return to Chicago for Gal, who was born and raised in the city and is a product of the Fire’s youth system. The 29-year-old is back having played for four different clubs across the top three levels of Swedish soccer since leaving the Fire in 2016.
Gal offers the Fire another senior option in goal alongside Spencer Richy, while homegrown Chris Brady is expected to enjoy extended minutes following the sale of Gabriel Slonina to Chelsea.
“We are very excited to welcome Jeff to his hometown club,” Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a club press release. “He has taken a unique path in his career and established himself at a high level in Europe over the past several years.
“Chicago has a strong history at the goalkeeper position and his experience will be a great asset to our group of goalkeepers as they continue to challenge each other and fight for valuable game minutes.”
The Fire begin the 2023 campaign at home to NYCFC on March 4, with head coach Ezra Hendrickson looking to guide the club back into the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017.